What We are Doing
Building a Sustainable, Equitable, and Inclusive Future for the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) through Promoting Industrial Hemp Cultivation and Use.
Impact of Industrial Hemp on Fragile Indian Himalayan Region and World
Industrial hemp, a natural vegetation of the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR), can rescue the region from its chronic fragility and bless it with a sustainable future.
Deforestation in fragile IHR.
Deforestation and forest degradation are increasing the fragility of the IHR. The impact transcends local boundaries, with potential ramifications for global climate change. Focused cultivation of the fast-growing industrial hemp can reverse this problem. Hemp, natural to this terrain, rejuvenates the soil. The traditional wisdom of local farmers in organic hemp farming is an asset utilizable in this context.
A recent article in Science proposes proactive tree plantation to reverse greenhouse gas emission, one of the key factors of climate change. Planting industrial hemp, natural to the IHR, is an even more efficient process to arrest greenhouse gas emissions. Hemp grows considerably faster than trees and has exceptional carbon sequestration capacity. Hemp is more efficient than agroforestry in CO2-biomass conversion.
Barren Land Reclamation
Industrial hemp peeps at you from hillsides and the fringes of crop fields as you trek in the IHR. It grows naturally there as the soil and the climate is conducive to its growth. Focused hemp cultivation in the land lying barren in the region is an efficient and viable strategy to arrest deforestation and forest degradation in the area.
Without sustainable employment, Uttarakhand’s village farmers have to abandon their farms and families, moving to cities for labor-based jobs. That has a terrible socioeconomic impact. Planned cultivation of industrial hemp, natural to this region, can reverse the migration process by generating locally-based means of income-earning.
Intact Traditional Knowledge of Hemp
More than 80% of the population in the IHR depends on agriculture, animal husbandry, and other allied means of sustenance. As a natural vegetation of the area, industrial hemp has been an integral part of their everyday life. Restoring hemp cultivation creates an excellent opportunity to utilize the traditional wisdom of local farmers in organic hemp farming to create locally-based income-earning opportunities.
Restoring plant-based livelihood options could create 3.75 million person-days of employment and generate US$10 million in wages for local communities, says Dr. Ruchika Singh, Director, World Resources Institute, India. Industrial hemp, a plant with multifaceted use, grows naturally in the IHR. Planned hemp cultivation programs linked to the global market can generate employment for local communities in agriculture and allied industries.
Impacting Plastic Pollution
Plastic pollution threatens our planet’s biodiversity. Microplastics kill innumerable aquatic and land animals every year. This plastic is derived from fossil fuels and is not biodegradable. It is possible to produce fully biodegradable plastic from hemp hurds. The automotive industry is already using hemp bioplastic. Greater focus on hemp bioplastic production and usage is an obvious solution to the plastic pollution menace.
Sustainable Textile Industry
Global awareness is growing about the environmental costs of different industries. The textile and fashion industries are also looking for more eco-friendly alternatives to cotton and synthetic fabrics. Hemp Fabrics and textiles produced from the bast fibers of the industrial hemp provide one of the most viable alternatives. Used by humans for hemp clothing since ancient times, hemp fibers can radicalize the textile industry.
Transforming the Construction Industry
With global consciousness about the need for a more sustainable lifestyle on the rise, the construction industry is also trying to reinvent itself. Hemp composites like hempcrete and hemp-clay have emerged to be preferred options for a more sustainable construction industry. Using hempcrete and hemp-clay as insulation material for buildings, as also for constructing buildings reduces fossil-fuel dependence and creates carbon-neutral buildings.
Industrial hemp is a lot more than an agro-economy powerhouse. It’s a vehicle of social change. Every step Hemp Foundation takes, is in tandem with thousands of rural Uttarakhand farmers, and every step is towards a secure future.
Self Help Groups Trainings
We conduct training sessions and upskilling workshops for self help groups in Uttarakhand. This becomes a clear gateway for motivated but marginalized individuals to become a part of the growing small scale and cottage industry of the state.
Market & Marketplace Training
Farmers of rural Uttarakhand have had a rough deal. We are changing that by imparting economic and market-focused education. The result – farmers can make informed choices of which industrial hemp variety to grow, how to ensure crop quality, and how to enjoy the best prices.
Workshop for Cultivation
Cultivating world-class industrial hemp isn’t something that we leave to chance. Each of our partner farmers gets access to our regular workshops where we train them in advanced farming practices and enable them to use technology.
Creating Hemp Products based clusters
Industrial hemp has applications across categories such as apparel, construction materials, fashion accessories, handicrafts, and more. We build product based clusters in rural Uttarakhand, and then support them till they become self-sufficient in participating in a global value chain.
Grading Workshop of Hemp Seed
Farmers need the power of knowledge to know what’s working for them and what’s not. Hemp Foundation organizes regular workshops to assist farmers in grading hemp seeds. This helps them measure the quality of products like Hemp Seed Oil, and Hemp Protein Powder, and takes corrective actions.
Hemp Fiber Degumming Training
We understand that farmers need technical and knowledge based support to make sure their crops meet the global quality standard. To do this, we educate farmers by imparting hemp fiber degumming technique, so that they can become parts of the farm-to-fabric value chain.
Hemp Yarn Making Training
Hemp Foundation aims at making industrial hemp the core of an economic revolution in Uttarakhand. We train women and young adult men in Uttarakhand in hemp yarn making techniques, helping them earn a sustainable livelihood.
Hemp Apparel Making Training
Hemp Foundation is in a joint venture with Mandakini Mahila Bunkar Samiti (MMBS), a community based social institution empowering women in Uttarakhand’s remotest villages. We conduct regular workshops aimed at these women, enabling them to acquire skills that help them earn and become financially independent.